The Hijabis We See

The Hijabis We See

Umm...?The purpose of Hijab, which is summarized best as the concealment of beauty and the beauty of concealment, seems to be growing more and ambiguous these days.Umm...?If I had a dollar for every Hijab style I’ve seen, I could buy that 365,000-dollar black Abaya decorated with bespoke Crosley diamonds. It’s become a constant source of amusement for me. I mean, how many different color pins can a person wear at once until it starts blinding people? The purpose of Hijab, which is summarized best as the concealment of beauty and the beauty of concealment, seems to be growing more and ambiguous these days. During any given day, we are likely to see a plethora of some odd fashion blends being passed off as Hijab:

The 15-Layer Hijab: Toucan Sam called, he wants his colors back. Here’s a question: how many differently-colored Hijab pieces can you wear under your shawl? Five? Ten? Fifteen? I’ve never been able to appreciate this style that cannot go away quickly enough. If you have the Hijab on, and assuming it matches your clothes, why the need for all the colored under-pieces?

Makeup-Gone-Seriously-Wrong Hijab: What did your first grade art teacher say about those Crayola Crayons? Exactly. Unless you’re auditioning to play the clown in Stephen King’s It or to become Heath Ledger’s successor, you don’t really need to paint your face so much before stepping out of the house. The rulings on makeup by various scholars have been selectively read, and as a result, we have so many people suffering from OMS: Obsessive Makeup Syndrome.

Emo Hijab: Remember, you’re trying to stand out, but you don’t care about how you look. This calls for wearing your older brother’s Ohio State hoodie, along with plaid pajama pants. The look also requires jet black nail polish and a black Hijab that will coincidentally match the rest of the look. You simply use this style of clothing to speak out against that terrible middle class suburban life you have to live.

Pirate Hijab: Paging Captain Hook and Captain Morgan: some Hijabi sister stole your pirate bandanna. Again, I fail to see the logical functionality of tying something on top of your scarf that looks like it’s from Pirates of the Caribbean. Do however let us know where Treasure Island is located.

Aviator Hijab: I must’ve missed the memo for this fashion. In order to effectively dress like an aviator, you will need hugely over-sized pink aviator sunglasses. Next step is placing your pants inside black boots that are at least six inches above your knees. Lastly, go to the nearest Salvation Army outlet and purchase a brown leather jacket from the World War II era.

Safety Hazard Hijab: Hijab was sent as a protection for females. Except these days, some variations of the Hijab can be classified as potentially quite dangerous to public health. An excessive amount of sharp and shiny pins can easily do an innocent passerby in. Also, wearing overly-glittery headscarves can severely blind fellow drivers on the road, so please be considerate of others and limit yourself to public transport.

Keffiyah Hijab: You aren’t Palestinian; however, you religiously wear the Keffiyah along with some skinny jeans and a hot pink shirt. No one said the Keffiyah was limited to one nationality, but why butcher something so symbolic? Adding insult to injury, you own a few pink Keffiyahs to match your fluorescent pink wardrobe.

MTV Hijab: Last and maybe least (Islamic, that is) is the MTV Hijab. This one honestly makes me nauseous. This look is made by wearing strapless tank tops with a white undershirt in order to make it more “Islamic”. It also involves wearing a form-fitting dress from Forever 21, again with a white undershirt, skinny jeans, and, don’t forget: a Hijab. This category is the most liberal, and fashionable, so basically whatever washed-out celebrities are wearing, you can wear too! Just wear an undershirt or jacket over the clothing.

EDITOR’S NOTE: No Hijabis were hurt during the writing of this article.

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  1. mohammed.husain
    December 01, 01:28
    Hijab has become such a contentious issue these days, that maybe its best if we hold off on the excessive scrutiny. I don't think an article of this type does much in the way of supporting hijab. Instead we re-inforce stereotypes about how religious people are just incredibly judgmental. Shari'a has its own demands independent of what you and I think, this is true. Why don't we let people decide on their own how their dress measures up to the requirements of shari'a, and acknowledge that any of the above types of hijab are better than a tank top and shorts.
  2. Reader
    December 01, 06:40
    Hahahaah, so funny!!<br /><br />And Br. Mohammed Husain, we cannot "let people decide on their own" what they think of the Sharia. Otherwise, what is the purpose of having Fiqh, Mujtahids, etc.? <br /><br />Excellent work, Sister Huda! Now run for cover... :-)
  3. otowi
    December 01, 08:11
    I understand the humorous intent and the article is well-written. Thank you sister. But I guess I feel in a way similar to mohammed.husain in that I think these types of jokes have been around long enough that if they were going to achieve anything positive it would've already happened. There was an article similar to this on II once before, and of course in other places on the Internet, and if it becomes too common it starts to seem mean-spirited. It seems like hijab is always the topic to pick on. Yes, there are problems with many ladies' hijabs, and many males' as well. But if women feel their hijab is always being scrutinized in a judgmental kind of way, while many are already self-conscious about wearing it at all or going through various struggles, that doesn't seem to encourage any sisterhood, nor improvement of hijab, for that matter. I've heard of cases where the feeling of hijab-picking was bothersome enough to some women that they left it altogether - so instead of helping or encouraging them, it made them run away. I think we need to commend sisters and brothers who make some effort to observe hijab even if it isn't perfect, and find a gentle, positive way to promote better hijab for all. If we keep recalling to its true purpose and benefits and make it easier for people to observe in any way we can, that may help. I personally try hard to get out of the habit of looking at another Muslim woman and evaluating her hijab and getting some opinion about her from it. I find it better to focus on the person than her clothes - hijabi or non-hijabi.
  4. Hilarious
    December 01, 08:24
    i LOVE this piece, it's hilarious and smart.<br /><br />More so, it touches on an issue people would rather ignore. Its sad when when non muslims ask why muslim women with hijab dress in tight clothings. Alot of the things we see worn by hijabis... seem to be from preislamic times.<br /><br />I like this piece, keep it up!
  5. Ehsan
    December 01, 10:28
    They say satire is the best way to point out a serious issue... this article was't an exception. I think it was done very well, with great humor. Rather than attacking the piece, let's fix our 'hijab' problems.
  6. Rima Baydoun
    December 01, 16:15
    Salams.<br /><br />I like this piece, if the nay sayers read it, they'd realize she was poking fun at the FASHIONS not the wearers. <br /><br />Either understand what is being said or don't read it, people want something to complain about. I like others am sick of hijab being made into a pathetic fashion show by the 'rich' girls of the community. they dress like they're off some mtv show like the hills or laguna beach.<br /><br />Also, dont ask the sister how to wear hijab, the rulings are clear. Clothing that doesnt attract attention or doesn't hug your curves. My god.. Imam Hussain died so the sisters can dress like actresses?!<br /><br />We gotta ask ourseleves daily, if we were to face our Imam, would we bow our heads in shame from our clothes?
  7. Think
    December 02, 08:19
    Asalaam Alaaykum<br /><br />The sister's question about how to wear hijab may be quite sincere, I don't think it is right to say to someone do not ask. And the people who commented earlier that others are in such a hurry to shut them up, maybe there is some good in their words that we all could learn from and reflect on. I don't see either of them as attacking the author in the least, and maybe they have some valid points. May all calm down and think.
  8. asalaam alaaykum,<br /><br />It is not really possible to separate a fashion from its wearer, because it reflects directly on the wearer. The intent of the article is to make people think about if they dress this way that she mentioned that they ought to change it. Maybe some of them are really okay Islamically, though, such as multiple colors of underscarves, depending on intent, how it is done, etc. It is a good intent to discuss that if we are wearing hijab, we want it to be real hijab that obeys Allah swt and is best for our souls. However, some did comment that maybe this is not the best way to help people improve their hijab or understand/appreciate hijab - that is a matter of opinion and people may think different ways about it and there is nothing wrong with that.<br /><br />You said people should not complain, but what you wrote yourself sounded a lot like complaining to me personally. I think we should be able to talk about the articles objectively and not just have to agree with the author. That can be done in a way that is not attacking and so far that is what people were doing here. Discussion like that is a means of spiritual reflection and possible growth when done correctly. <br /><br />The purpose of hijab is in part to make it easier for a woman to be judged based on things other than her dress - to be judged on her piety alone just as Allah swt judges us. No doubt hijab is required by Allah swt and thus improper hijab can be a signal of a problem in piety, but so can many other things that are not as easy to see, and it certainly is not the only factor - it just happens to be one of the most visible ones. As part of that spirit of hijab, it seems to me that people are too obsessed with judging a woman's appearance including how she wears her hijab. It is like a pastime for some people to obsess on their hijab style or that of others, and to judge it. I happen to believe that sometimes it goes too far and makes it harder for women to wear hijab rather than easier, because they are over-scrutinized about everything and thus feel even more pressure about their dress than before, which is exactly opposite what should be. In my opinion, we should celebrate and acknowledge what is correct and keep calling back to proper hijab in the best examples we can find to help them get even more correct, and we should continually refocus our judgments to ourselves and evaluate our own hijab, both in dress and in behavior toward others, and keep our focus there primarily and enjoin others to good in the best way we can find, which is often encouragement and example.<br /><br />Sister Houda, this is from a previous article<br /><br />The basic requirements for female dress in public are four:<br /><br />1. Extent: Everything but your hands and face must be covered. Feet should be covered, as should hair, neck, ears, and arms. Make-up and adornment should be covered, even if that means covering parts that would not otherwise have to be covered. Most scholars say that wedding rings and religious rings need not be covered, but in general, jewelry is adornment and should be concealed.<br /><br />2. Looseness: The garments should be loose enough so that the shape of your body from at least the shoulders to the mid-thighs is not apparent. Even for the legs, clothes should not be skin-tight. If the fabric follows your curves, it is too tight.<br /><br />3. Thickness: The clothing should be thick enough that the color of your skin and hair underneath cannot be discerned through the fabric.<br /><br />4. Style: The clothes should not be of a color, style, or decoration so as to serve the purpose of drawing attention, being adornment, or showing off. Thus, clothes with bright colors, fancy decorations, and expensive fabrics should be avoided. Further, clothes that would be considered as belonging to the opposite gender or to followers of another religion are also excluded. Also, it is improper to be a slave to fashion, spending wastefully for the latest trend, judging and being judged based on style, etc. Simplicity is better for your soul, mind and body.
  9. Aliya
    December 02, 13:16
    Funny, but overdone/unoriginal. honestly, just because someone isnt doing it exactly right, doesn't mean it nullifies their intentions. The last thing someone needs is criticism from her own sisters. When she is ready to do it perfectly, she will in her own time. There are better things you can accomplish with your words besides cracking on other Muslims whose intentions you do not know.
  10. Hacham
    December 02, 13:47
    Some of these comments are very distasteful, I would expect better from Muslims. Secondly, as a brother, I'm consistently disappointed in how some sisters choose to dress.<br /><br />Some are saying, "at least they wear hijab", well what if we saw someone praying incorrectly? Would we let them continue that? Of course not.<br /><br />The styles in this article are satirical, and most don't exist as stated. I personally think this a great piece, and it reaches a great point through humor.
  11. RJ
    December 02, 14:09
    Salam,<br /><br />Thank You for this piece Sr. Huda!! <br /><br />It definitely makes one understand how Hijab is becoming less Islamic, and more personalized. Hijab is meant to repel unneccesary glances, not attract more. It would still be a minor problem if this thing merely affected the PERSON who is wears all these various Hijabi styles. The bigger and more severe problem/issue is actually how it diminishes the importance of Hijab, and the image of Islam in the eyes of non-Muslims who make an impression of Islam through it's followers! Hijabis walk around as symbols of Islam, so they definitely carry a big responsibility on their shoulders of representing Islam. And while they walk in a world where already a 100 different stereotypes of Muslims (and islam) exist, they need to be more careful what they do. As Imam Sadiq (as) had said: "Be representatives of us and not a burden upon us." <br /><br />Thanks again for this piece Sis... InshAllah everyone realizes the actual and strightforward message being given and not derive unneccessary and worthless conclusions as this is no personal attack towards anybody's appearance, leave alone their intentions.
  12. mohammed.husain
    December 02, 19:27
    I think the reason why this article makes me feel uncomfortable is because it doesn't acknowledge the difficulty involved in wearing hijab. <br /><br />Wearing hijab essentially means putting yourself on the margins of society. Even if you seek to be mainstream, other people will put you on the margins. Why? Because you look different. <br /><br />Now, being Muslim often entails living on the margins of society. But if you are a woman and you wear hijab, you never get a break. You never blend in, and people make a number of assumptions about you from the get go, Muslim or non-Muslim. That's a big burden. So when I see someone wear a scarf, even if it falls into one of the categories listed above, I would first commend before anything else. That doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, but let's stop seeing hijab as an either-or, and more as a spectrum of modesty. <br /><br />"Some of these comments are very distasteful, I would expect better from Muslims. Secondly, as a brother, I'm consistently disappointed in how some sisters choose to dress." <br /><br />Expressing this sort of indignation, no matter how well intentioned, will only invoke a defense response. Sure, its disappointing the way some girls dress. But, I find guys doing little better, if not worse, when it comes to guarding their sexuality. We have to remember that when we are quick to criticize the lens very quickly turns on us. <br /><br />Lastly, we have to acknowledge that the definitions of hijab given by our maraj'e are not absolutely definitive. Sure, as some of the sisters mentioned there are certain requirements: for instance covering everything aside from face and hands and wearing loose-fitting clothing. But beyond that there is an element of relativity. The colorful shalwar kameez in saudi arabia might be considered to be one of the types of hijab mentioned above, but here in America and even in the subcontinent, I dont think it would be seen that way. <br /><br />There are objective measures of hijab and also subjective ones. In either case, we need to supplement the modesty of our dress with modesty in our judgement.
  13. Anonymous
    December 02, 20:28
    this piece raises an issue -- the community needs to learn to address issues in a successful format. We shudnt make certain topics "Taboo". Why must women constantly chase these abstract norms of 'beauty'? More so, isn't the Hijab as a concept meant to deter women from feeling as much social pressure based on their looks? <br /><br />problem is the western emphasis on looks is dynamic. the trends change so often... thin is good.. thin is bad. tight is good.. tight is bad..and it goes on & on. the fact muslim girls would focus on these trends and then rush to defend them like we are seeing now shows the media control on our minds.<br /><br />also.. lets remember Ahl Bayt when we comment.. and remember we shouldnt judge the intentions of anyone.
  14. zeinab
    December 04, 15:14
    salaam,<br /><br />i appreciate that we are trying to bring levity to a serious topic by using satire as a medium, but i don't think it can be done well with this particular topic because hijab is so [i]personal[/i]. there are universal standards of course, but every woman has the freedom of choice, and has to face her LORD in the end, not [i]islamic insights[/i] columnists or readers. we are *not* ALLAH (swt) to judge, nor are we officials in an islamic government vested with the authority to enforce proper hijab.<br /><br />while i understand that physical hijab is very important, there are more crucial things missing from this article. example: <br /><br />holier-than-thou hijab: those sisters who deem their hijab so "proper and perfect" that they think they can demean and belittle others. sorry girls, but high horses are so [i]passe[/i].<br /><br />i know many people who--right or wrong--look at such judgmental behavior among our "religious" community as off-putting. this is especially true for non-hijabi sisters who feel like they will be scrutinized to no end if they become active and/or wear hijab.<br /><br />in the end, hijab is by no means a taboo topic (as someone tried to suggest earlier), but dealing with it in such a way is not the best route. most sisters who are struggling with their hijab do dress inappropriately, and it's our job as their fellow muslims to encourage them to do what's right, not denigrate them into it. and, if i may say, the satire was actually lacking in any real wit; don't do satire unless it's really, really funny. i'm afraid this falls rather flat. a very disappointing piece on pretty much all fronts...
  15. .
    December 04, 16:37
    okay.. i wear the emo hijab !! lol oh man that's hilarious, and i didnt find it offensive. I think its nice to know how we look to others, if you surrond yourself by your friends who only wear holliester with hijabs, you'll never how others see you.<br /><br />those who dont like the piece can just move on.. the world is starving and we're arguing over an article? shame.
  16. Mariam
    December 04, 17:10
    O ye who believe! Let not a folk deride a folk who may be better than they (are), not let women (deride) women who may be better than they are; neither defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. Bad is the name of lewdness after faith. And whoso turneth not in repentance, such are evil-doers.<br /><br />49:10<br /><br />instead of supporting struggling sisters, we mock them???
  17. .
    December 04, 17:58
    And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers...<br /><br /><br /><br />funny how we all can quote the quran when we need to, but we cant apply all of it. the low swipes at the writer are also sad, and i think such comments dont merit a reply at all..<br /><br />As if the sisters dont know right from wrong..<br /><br />salaams
  18. salaam
    December 04, 18:07
    [quote]Those who dont like the piece can just move on.. the world is starving and we're arguing over an article? shame. [/quote]<br /><br />If you really felt that way, then you shouldn't comment, because you are participating in what you are complaining against. It is an incorrect position to deride others just because they disagree. <br /><br />I tend to agree with Sr. Mariam that this 'satire' is a form of mocking and that there are truly better ways to help our brothers and sisters in faith improve their deen. And maybe in the process of figuring out what those better methods are and carrying them out, we will improve ourselves, insha'allah. We find it far too easy to find fault with others, as the article and its comments (including this one, for that matter) attest.<br /><br />Maybe it is time to reflect on this hadith in the 40 hadith of Sayyid Khomeini and see how it applies to our situation:<br /><br />"Philosophers say that the chances of being saved in a ship without a captain from the stormy waves of ocean are brighter than those of a man being saved in an outburst of wild passion. God forbid, that we should ever belong to that category of people who become aggressive during academic discussions, as some of our students suffer from this intemperance... See the following account:<br /><br />It is narrated from many companions of the Prophet (S) that once as the Prophet (S) came to them they were engaged in wrangling over a religious issue. The Prophet (S) of Islam was greatly displeased and was indignant to this extent that they had never seen him before in such an anger. The Prophet (S) told them it was because of this habit of wrangling that their precursors were destroyed, and he added that a true believer would never wrangle. The Prophet (S) asked them to stop wrangling and told them that he would not act as an intercessor to any wrangler. Wrangling occupies the second place after idolatry among the things forbidden by God Almighty. The Prophet (S) is reported to have also said that unless a believer refrains from wrangling and altercation he cannot know the truth, in spite of his position being correct.<br /><br />There are various traditions in this regard. How abominable it will be if we deprive ourselves of the intercession of the Prophet (S) for the sake of merely a trivial thing which has no value, no merit whatsoever. Intellectual discussions, which would otherwise be the highest order of service and worship if undertaken with sincere motives, end in such a catastrophe and wipe out all his good deeds and acts of worship. In all circumstances, man should focus his attention on each of his vices individually, and eradicate them from the domain of his soul by restraining his carnal self. Once the trespasser is driven out, the rightful owner of the house can readily come to take possession.'"<br />
  19. RJ
    December 04, 19:16
    Please let us refrain from tampering with Islamic literature in order to back up our own views and opinions.<br /><br />The verse 49:11 that has been quoted talks about mocking people. Does this article make a mention of particular individuals, or even a group of individuals? No it does not; the article does ridicule ... not people, but their actions (and none of the categories above can be deemed fit to be called "Islamic Hijab.") Therefore, an unbiased reader can see that the article cannot accomplish the task of "mocking people." The huge message that this piece is shouting out is how such "Hijabis" are letting down the image of Islam, and diminishing the very role of Hijab! (For instance when it talks about the misuse of Kefiyyah and says "why butcher something so symbolic?") It's as simple as that. <br /><br />It's not a matter of concern here about how sublime and pure the intentions of those Hijabis might be, or how sincerely they might be wearing what they're wearing, or how they might be struggling for their cause and being pushed to the margins of the society. After all Hijab is a "personal" thing is it not?
  20. Mariam
    December 04, 19:37
    Al-Hujraat<br />O ye who believe! let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames: Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed: And those who do not desist are (Indeed) doing wrong. (11) <br /><br /><br />يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا يَسۡخَرۡ قَوۡمٌ۬ مِّن قَوۡمٍ عَسَىٰٓ أَن يَكُونُواْ خَيۡرً۬ا مِّنۡہُمۡ وَلَا نِسَآءٌ۬ مِّن نِّسَآءٍ عَسَىٰٓ أَن يَكُنَّ خَيۡرً۬ا مِّنۡہُنَّ‌ۖ وَلَا تَلۡمِزُوٓاْ أَنفُسَكُمۡ وَلَا تَنَابَزُواْ بِٱلۡأَلۡقَـٰبِ‌ۖ بِئۡسَ ٱلِٱسۡمُ ٱلۡفُسُوقُ بَعۡدَ ٱلۡإِيمَـٰنِ‌ۚ وَمَن لَّمۡ يَتُبۡ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ (١١)
  21. otowi
    December 04, 19:55
    I don't think the discussion here is a case of one side saying these hijabs are okay and the other saying they are not. I think it is pretty clear that, at least for the most part, most of the styles mentioned have some problems with them. A few of them might meet the technical requirements of hijab, depending on how they are worn and intention, but most not so. <br /><br />Neither do I think this is a discussion about if it is appropriate or not to enjoin others to good and forbid evil. It does not seem either side is saying to just ignore what Islam says about hijab and don't care how improper wearing of it affects Islam's reputation.<br /><br /> I think both sides have actually largely agreed on these points, but maybe some have not realized that. So let us not have people divide themselves, allow themselves to be controlled by anger or need to "win" or whatever, and turn in argument against their brothers and sisters.<br /><br />Instead, the main issue seems to be about different opinions of methodology. What is the best way to enjoin good/forbid evil in the matter of sisters' hijab? Some have felt that this article is a fine way to do so while others have felt it is not the best way, that people might be hurt unnecessarily rather than helped, even though that was not the intent. Most of the people who did not feel this was the best way made no attack whatsoever on the author, but I saw at least one negative remark that way, while most of the more negative remarks directed at people came from those who didn't like someone else's comments. None of that is appropriate or acceptable behavior, but some people on both sides were also reading attacks where none took place. There is a difference between an attack and having a different opinion.<br /><br /><br />When Imam Hasan and Imam Hussein (as) saw an elderly man performing wudhu improperly, they did not use satire to guide him. They did let the man overhear a conversation of theirs in which they poked fun at various popular wrong ways people were doing wudhu. Neither did they go to him and straight up say, 'Man, you're doing it wrong, here's how you do it.' It might not be sinful for them to use those methods, and someone using those methods might have good intentions, alhumdooleluh, but they understood that if they really wanted to help the man, they had to be very careful in their method because people are sensitive creatures especially when it comes to matters of correction. So instead, they employed a method of pretending to have a discussion between themselves about how to do wudhu in which one corrected the other and the man overheard and was able to learn without any possible offense or harm. <br /><br />This is a good example for us to think about. Enjoining good and forbidding evil is a duty on us. And it is a heavy duty because it is very hard to perform well. We could be the most generous people in the world and nullify all of it before God because we made the recipient(s) feel ashamed in the way that we gave. Perhaps we can also ruin our enjoining good and forbidding evil in a similar fashion. I am not accusing the author or editors or anyone else of any wrong-doing. I understand the points of the article and think everyone can at least mostly agree on them. I was not offended by the article. And I think the comments have blown up out of proportion to the matter at hand. But if our purpose is enjoining good or forbidding evil, I commend that, while also feeling this particular methodology could be counterproductive and potentially to hurtful (although not intended to be so) to sensitive individuals and thus I would recommend adopting other methods in the future. We live and we learn. I think perhaps that the comments bear sufficient evidence to make a case for such a recommendation.
  22. mohammed.husain
    December 04, 20:12
    Otowi, I think you hit the nail on the head. This isn't a disagreement over the prescription of Islam, nor over the duty to command the good and forbid the evil. Really its about being strategic in our efforts to promote Islam, particularly given the complexities of the circumstances we find ourselves in. <br /><br /><br />The article isn't offensive, and its not a question of taboo. Its a question of pragmatism. How do we promote Islam in a way that brings as many people into the fold, all the while without compromising on the principles of Islam in the least.
  23. frequent reader
    December 05, 06:16
    I think that the writer has completely accomplished her goal of getting people to talk about the different styles of hijab which if not outright haraam are still against the Islamic spirit. To that end I would like to say I think she should be commended.<br /><br />The Prophet (saw) never drove a car. Are you going to say that because he didn't we shouldn't also? Simply saying that the Ahlul-Bait did not use satire so we should not also is hardly a good proof. The best argument against it would be against the verses mentioned from surah al hujurat. However, the author has not ridiculed any particular individual, only behaviors which she is trying to point out are unacceptable. Some may not agree with her conclusions about which styles are unacceptable, but rather than getting sensitive about it and shouting 'haraam', it would be better to address the points she has made.<br /><br />By the way, I have heard many of our respectable scholars and speakers using sarcasm from the mimbar (pulpit) to highlight wrong behaviors. If anyone blames Sister Huda, they should take issue with those learned ones who do the same. As it stands, I don't see her having done anything that should be reproached.
  24. Sara
    December 05, 07:25
    I agree with frequent reader ! It's a total disappointment how some have hijacked this article for their own reasons.
  25. Malik
    December 05, 08:37
    Maybe it's due to the fact I'm a male, however, I see nothing wrong with this piece. Sister Huda is one of the most talented writers we've had on Islamic Insights in a long time. I find it commendable she tackled this topic. <br /><br />However, I would suggest to those throwing a hissy fit to work on their manners, then worry how others view their crystal head scarf.
  26. mohammed.husain
    December 05, 11:13
    I think we are missing the boat here. The point isn't to argue whether the author did something wrong. It's not a question of right or wrong here. Nor is there a point in worrying about people's over-reactions. Let people react the way they may. It's a controversial topic, and this is why its controversial.<br /><br />The question that is more important, is thinking about the way we think about hijab. Why is hijab such a contentious issue to begin with? Has the way we think about hijab led to a polarization in our community between those who wear and those who don't? Is that the intent of hijab? And do approaches such as these contribute to that polarization? These are questions worth asking.
  27. Maya
    December 06, 18:19
    It's hilarious exactly who keeps commenting under different aliases. I've lost respect for an IslamicInsights writer and gained alot for Sister Huda.
  28. Huda Jawad
    December 06, 18:35
    Salaam Everyone,<br /><br />Thank you all for your comments and suggestions! I always look forward to reading the reader's input, because as much as I love being told how great an article is, it simply doesn't allow me growth as a writer. That growth comes from criticism and suggestions.<br /><br />It is my hope that we can learn to debate in a manner a bit better than this; you never know, sometimes these relatively small things equal a test of faith.<br /><br />Thanks again everyone.<br /><br />Fe Aman Allah<br /><br />-- Huda
  29. Mariam
    December 10, 23:24
    Hijab is not wearing clothes that attract attention or hug the figuire, So what do muslim sisters do about the guys that find women in abeyet and black scarves attractive? lock them selves inside the house and never step out at the risk of being 'fantacised' about??
  30. Anon.
    December 19, 03:41
    I think this article was very rude and mean to women who are just trying to fit into society. Its sooo hard being scrutinised by non muslims, and now we have a hijabi scrutinising us too?
  31. frequent reader
    December 20, 07:25
    I really think this is getting silly. Have you guys never been criticized before? If you don't agree with something, don't take it to heart, just move on. We all have our opinions, I don't see what the big deal about an article like this is. I personally hear insulting things said against Muslimahs who choose to wear the abaya or chador being tolerated. Why can't people who not like the article simply write a counter-article? Wait, that takes too much work, complaining is more fun, and anyway someone else can do it because there are 'more important things to do'.<br /><br />Regarding the article, maybe saying what people SHOULD do or wear would have helped. We often get into discussions about what people should NOT do without then providing direction and that simply looks critical rather than constructive. I hardly think the article was perfect, but I do think the author opened a discussion we would not be having if she had not tried such a novel approach. If writing in this way gets people to think, I hope more articles like this will be written.
  32. Excellent point!<br /><br />[quote]"Regarding the article, maybe saying what people SHOULD do or wear would have helped. We often get into discussions about what people should NOT do without then providing direction and that simply looks critical rather than constructive."[/quote]<br /><br />See:<br /><br /><br />
  33. anonymous
    February 09, 12:59
    i'm not a muslim, i don't follow islam, i do want to understand the faith though, which is why i have logged onto this website. can someone explain to me why beautiful things should be hidden? God created beauty to be looked upon and admired, if we don't have beauty how would we know what is ugly? why is it that only women are expected to hide their beauty and not men, men are just as beautiful as women yet seem to be free to show off their beauty and be admired and looked upon by women but not the other way around. this is not a criticism just questions.
  34. frequent reader
    February 09, 15:15
    Dear anonymous,<br /><br /> Those are good questions. In Islam, questions are encouraged, not looked down upon so long as they are in a spirit of trying to understand. Here is my own take on what you've mentioned.<br /><br />1. Men and women are complementary but not the same. They are both fully human and deserving of respect, however, showing respect does not mean that a one-size-fits-all approach is appropriate. If you have studied about yin and yang in eastern thought, Islam takes a similar stance. Gender relations fit into this way of thinking;<br /><br />2. Everyone appreciates beauty, including Muslims. Within the Islamic lifestyle, beauty is highly appreciated. The Quran teaches humanity, not just Muslims, to look at the wondrous systems around us and ponder on their beauty. Beauty is considered a mark of Allah's intelligent presence in the universe. It is a sign of intellect that one has faith in Allah's presence and admire the beautiful things He has made;<br /><br />3. Intellect is buffeted by tremendous desires such as anger and lust. Anger and lust must be controlled in order for the intellect to prosper. Controlling such desires and expressing them at the right time is a struggle all disciplined and respectable people must strive for. Without such control, awareness of God's presence is far more difficult and may even reach the point where it becomes impossible;<br /><br />4. Islam takes note of what many psychologists and thinkers throughout history have pointed out: men are more apt to fall in love with their eyes while women are more apt to fall in love with men who sweet talk them. This does not mean that all men ore women are like this, but this is the norm. <br /><br />Men and women who are not married or otherwise considered closely related by Islam have to cover a minimum amount of their bodies in front of each other, not look at each other's bodies and are encouraged to avoid talking unnecessarily to each other. These guidelines benefit both genders;<br /><br />5. People who do not have something easily available to them find having it more valuable when they obtain it. Suppose you are hungry or tired. Don't you feel the food or sleep is more sweet when you get it as opposed to other times? To be careful in how one indulges one's cravings for the other gender's company and pleasures intensifies the natural desires one has for one's spouse. A person who satisfies their urges to look at and touch without restrictions cannot really know how different their relationships be if they did otherwise and reserved themselves for a relationship sanctified by Allah. Hopefully such a person would not be so far gone that they would prefer their desires to perfecting themselves;<br /><br />6. Unlike in many other religions and philosophical schools, Islam says sex is a great thing within a marriage relationship. Both genders should be sexually attractive and satisfying for each other as much as possible. They should enjoy each that act but only in the proper way, in marriage, otherwise such behavior is considered far from beautiful;<br /><br />7. Muslims see proof that the Quran is from Allah and His Messenger has been sent as an example for us. These sources are in 100% agreement about the Islamic dress code. Even if we cannot understand certain things--and of course we try to understand as much as possible--we understand that if something came from Allah, it is good for us. Understanding this and moving in Allah's way through life is the true beauty.
  35. masooma
    February 09, 16:27
    Asalaam Alaaykum,<br /><br />I thought your reply to 'anonymous' was very nice and well done! I hope 'anonymous' will find it helpful!
  36. frequent reader
    February 10, 02:56
    To add to point 4, the type of looking mentioned is one of lust. Neither men or women are permitted to do this unless married to each other. How some people actually choose to follow the points above is a different issue, However, the position Islam takes is very clear. <br /><br />Sometimes women have a difficult time understanding how much men not restraining themselves objectify the female body. They are surprised because it is not something actually discussed very clearly. I just saw an article on MSN that highlights some funny things which men get excited about. You might want to cut and paste the following link into your browser:<br /><br />
  37. Tayyaba
    February 12, 18:26
    I know this article wasn't written to start an arguement, but I've come across it and I feel like making my point.<br /><br />I've been wearing hijaab for about 5 years now, but several people have said to me that i don't wear it "properly" and recently this has been starting to bug me. I began wearing it because at the time, I was struggling with a lot in life, and I hoped it would give me the strength to remember and live by my faith. And it did, and it still does.<br />But the more I still try to have my own personality with my hijaab, the more I get told I am a disgrace to it. Some people have said to me they'd rather I don't wear it the way I do because it seems like an insult, that in a way I am mocking it. I am NOT. I feel comfortable the way I wear it. But lately I've begun feeling more and more uncomfortable. Now I worry that everyone who looks at me thinks I'm a culture-confused muslim, or like the 'emo' u described above (i should just say i despise that label). I'm neither. Alhumdulillah I still have my faith, and it's stronger than ever, but I no longer feel comfortable wearing my hijaab and have spent many weeks now wondering if I should just switch to hats. I like hats. And I'll just make sure I keep my neck covered with turtle neck tops/scarfs. <br /><br />I know this article wasnt written with this intention, but its just pointed out that there are several people who must think I'm not a "good" muslim because of the way I wear my hijaab. Personally I think you should all go and pray for forgiveness because only Allah has the ability to judge who is and isnt a good muslim; who is and isn't wearing a hijaab "properly".<br /><br />As for me, I think I probably will end up switching to hats. Because I don't feel like other muslims are accepting enough of anything that isnt like what THEY think is right. I refute that. Only Allah knows if I am right or wrong.
  38. Informer
    February 12, 18:40
    ]To the above sister, I ask you, where in this article does it say who is or isn't a good muslim? Anyone here will be hard pressed to even find the words "Good" and "Muslim" together in this article.<br /><br />If discussing Hijab has become taboo, I fear what the mind police will attack soon also.<br /><br />Maybe it's time we understand what Hijab is, honestly, dressing in a modest way, it's not hard. The amish do it and they live in the middle of nowhere. How hard is it to buy a long shirt? Maybe pants that aren't tight? Hijab is pretty clear, if there's confusion, refer to hadiths, scholars, books, the ladies of the Holy household, not In style magazine.<br /><br />Some comments are perfectly correct, only Allah can judge, so save the excuses for Allah [swt].
  39. masooma
    February 12, 20:20
    Sister Tayyaba, the older I get, the more I learn that no matter what you do in life, someone will always find fault with it. If you wear hats, someone won't like it, if you wear a scarf, someone won't like it, if you do something else, someone won't like it. So we just can't do things trying to please people because it is a no-win situation. And we can't let them get us to stop doing something by wearing us down or upsetting us, either, because that also is a no-win. We have to make our reasons for doing something be independent of what other people will say or do or what they are saying or doing to us. Originally you put on the scarf for a reason that had nothing to do with those people. What you do from now on should also be for a reason that has nothing to do with them - either reactionary or otherwise.
    • Some
      December 21, 09:02
      1- Easy way to convince their innocence<br /> 2- Easy way to make their parents fool<br /> 3- Easy way to make their husband believe that they are masooma<br /> 4-Oh noo....she cant do that because she wear hijab...But "SHE" is not very different from others<br /> I get this feeling when i see a hijabi...( My Allah knows a hijabi is responsbile for this )
  40. mohammed.husain
    February 12, 22:36
    Tayyaba, sorry to hear about your experience with the hijaab. I first commented on this piece long ago, by saying that we should be encouraging as far as possible with respect to hijaab, even if we think that a person's hijab is not perfect, after all hijaab is not [i]just[/i] a scarf . By doing a satire on 15 styles of hijaab I felt like we alienate people, and your reaction seems to fit the bill. <br /><br />I think tayyaba has a good point though. We should try to do things for the sake of principle rather than for acceptance by a group people. Needless to say, people's acceptance and support can make a difficult task easy, and their lack of the aforementioned can make the task next to impossible. <br /><br />Having said all that I think when it comes to our religious duties we all have to come face to face with the texts and figure out what's required, and try to live up to it. Of course we all have shortcomings. And our recognition of this should make us charitable in our judgment of others.
  41. Jennifer
    February 13, 08:11
    I'm a revert to Islam..and honestly I find Hijab to be quite easy at least in the physical sense. You wear modest clothing and get on with your day. The very fact the same people are still commenting on this article shows how: 1. Bored they are. 2. Out to bring down the writer. 3. Confused.<br /><br />I wonder, why does the idea of proper hijab irritate people? Is it because it challenges the cultural grab you put on? <br /><br />Move on.
    • shocked
      December 16, 11:33
      Is there a reason the writer never defends herself or explains herself or answers the questions posed to her?
  42. mohammed.husain
    February 13, 17:58
    Jennifer, <br /><br />I have immense respect for you in your reversion to Islam, and praise is God's for your having an experience with hijaab that was easy. But because our experience doing something may have been easy, we shouldn't assume that someone else's experience will also be. <br /><br />Perhaps the number of my comments has something to do with boredom. I can't rule that out. I prolly spend more time than I need on this website. But, there is no intent to bring down the author here. It's a case of respectful disagreement. <br /><br />And while confusion might plague me in other aspects of life, I think hijaab as defined by our maraje' is relatively clear and straightforward, so this isn't a disagreement over what constitutes hijab, but rather of holding a different strategic approach in promoting hijaab. This is an important point that I hope u dont overlook. <br /><br />We can support hijaab, while not in a sense mocking those who don't do it exactly correctly. This, to me is a better and more [i]effective [/i] way of promoting hijaab. If we choose to mock people who don't do things correctly, we give them a reason to resent us, and that does more harm than good.
    • jesyl
      October 26, 06:58
      this is so funny! a really good article by someone who is 'hip', or is that out of fashion now too? lol<br />i like the idea of layering hijabs for a nice effect, but i have never seen more than three. i guess i'm too much of a province girl. like the idea of a nice bomber jacket, lol. the whole idea, the whole concept, remains the same though. do not invite someone to have.... ideas. look and feel good, great! but do not harm our stupid muslim brothers brains. Allah will be seriously mad.
  43. frequent reader
    February 14, 02:39
    The thing I don't understand is how people who are so quick to forward Baba Ali movies and laugh at them, even when they are mocking certain negative archetypes, are now upset about this article. Presumably it's because their own behavior is now under the microscope. <br /><br />Interesting world we live in, isn't it? ;-)
  44. frequent reader
    February 14, 09:37
    And by the way, sister "mohammed.husain", your language gives you away. I only know one person who uses the word "mock" so casually. Please kindly stop trying to fill the thread with comments from multiple identities to bolster your arguments. And please also stick to using one name, even if it's anonymous. We get your point even though you're applying it in a fairly one-sided approach considering the circumstances...
  45. Al-Ajal
    March 08, 01:29
    *thumbs up* sis Huda! Very nice article...sometimes such serious matters as hijab, have to be poked at with fun in order to make a point. I completely understand, as I write articles too (for this website)<br /><br />every writer has their own style, sometimes sarcasm is the way to go. Sometimes serious and factual is.<br /><br />Let's not miss the point...we all know what hijab is and how it should be worn. Those who are so worried about fitting in and pleasing and being accepted by non-muslims, what about Allah (SWT)? When will we start caring to please Him? How many times have we heard about the beauty of hijab from our great Ladies Fatima and Zeynab (SA)? The whole story of Imam Sajjad (AS) saying the WORST part of the events of Muharram was Shaam, where his mothers, aunts, and sisters COVER was taken away.....not because they weren't fitting in.<br /><br />Let's not justify our low-confidence in our religion. It's about time we get tough and be proud of what our religion stands for and asks of us.<br /><br />And for all the brothers, what if we wrote about beards. How many times have we heard a "goatee" is not a real beard, or a thin, designed one isn't one either? We all know a beard is a beard. As is hijab, your shape should not show, as your hair, your colors shouldn't be like "toucan sam" (i loved that!), and the conditions are there.<br /><br />Again, ahsant Sis Huda.
  46. Something tells me the majority of these comments were by completely...i'll hold my tongue, or the same person. Who is anyone to comment on hijabs in such a distasteful not funny manner? All we can do is give the rulings on how to wear proper hijab and pray that people successfully overcome any obstacles that they may face. Poking fun at peoples struggles is not funny and comes close to mockery which is HARAM. Be careful, no Mashallah is due here.
  47. baller
    March 15, 05:24
    Yo, this article rocks, I'm forwarding it. Y'all who don't likes it need to chill! ;-)
  48. Batool Jafri
    March 16, 21:58
    Salaam,<br />Great article sis Huda! Insh'Allah I hope one day we will all be able to perfect our hijabs in the manner Bibi Fatima (as) and Bibi Zainab (as) would be proud. I can understand the "controversy", but at the end of the day it's easy to see what your intentions were for writing this article and for that I commend you. <br /><br />Jazak'Allah
  49. Sulemen Ali
    September 01, 10:19
    Cool article... tru in da sense where is it all starting from and fashion wise. did u hear bout da hijabis calendar comning out soon? google hijabis are hot calendar adn dsee
  50. luisa islam
    September 11, 05:34
    its not right for us to judge random people we see on the streets about their hijabs...we have no idea how far they have come and how far they will go. The girl you see in "improper hijab" might have been wearing mini skirt and boob tube last takes steps to become a good muslim, its hard for women in this country to wash their brain from years and years of imodest influences. Maybe the sister has recently decided to practice islam...comments and jokes like this will only push her away not give her comfort and make her want to join the family of muslims. we should put more educating articles about hijabs and not offensive ones...a women realising that the way she looks isnt all what lifes about, to then get laughed at by muslims because of the way she is dressed will not be able to see the beauty and true reasons for wearing hijab!
  51. Amina Ali
    September 11, 06:10
    Asalaamo Alikym Sisters and Brothers<br />Ramadan Mubarak!!!<br /><br />It is quit simple, Islam is very clear when it says that the purpose of Hijab is for a womens modesty. The hijab should be long enough to cover her breast if this will not pose a danger to her safety. You can have fun and wear some colors but please try not to be excessive. We are not ina competition how can I make this Hijab look less like a Hijab and more like a fashions statement. The fact that you wear a clean, beautiful Hijab is a fashins statement in itself. It tells those around you that you are to be respected and treated as precious jewel. I do like wearing hats over my Hijab in the winter when it is raining and snowing. It is so much easier for me then carrying an umbrella. Insha'Allah this will not be considered haram.<br /><br />Allah guide all the believers in this life and forgive us our transgressions and show us the clear path that leads to Jenna. Amin<br /><br />JazakAllah Khayrun<br />Asalaamo Alikym Wa'Rahmatullahi Wa'Baraakauth<br /><br />Amina Ali<br /><br />
  52. Ahmad alzobi
    January 26, 09:05
    To al comments ..This is 21st cetury cover the face....haaaaa ...why??? hijab i undestand but the face ....i dont get it;-);-)
  53. shocked
    December 16, 11:29
    Very shocked that an article of this nature is this website, Mrs. Jawad who are you to judge? Instead of writing an article to educate the underdressed hijabis and who don't know or have been misinformed on how to wear a scarf, you make fun of them and dedicate an entire article to ridiculing them. Is this how the prophets and imams brought people to the Umma? I'm sure there were straying followers during their times, did the imams and prophets mock them and point them out? Psychologically, this has no benefit and is counter productive. What a shame
  54. Frequent_Reader
    December 16, 22:17
    Why do writers have to reply to your comments? Or rather the subtle and sometimes blatant personal agendas carried out in the comments section? I've seen writers reply to actual comments not attacks on this website. On actual websites, the writers don't reply in comments section. That's as unprofessional as it gets.
    December 16, 23:58
    It's sad that people ignore the many great and vital articles Huda Jawad puts out there in current affairs and even community news and jump on the bandwagon. This article isn't even as horrible as people make it out to be. The same people who didn't get a reply in 2008 are back to this article now. I know many people who enjoy the articles by this writer and I commend the fact she did not jump into the fray. Google her name and the name Islamic Insights and you get hundreds of hits. Her work has spread the Shia political thought and Islamic humanitarian work into even the websites and newspapers of nonmuslims. If you don't like Huda Jawad because she satired the ridiculous hijab styles, that says more about you than her. Why can Baba Ali do the same thing and be funny and she can't catch a break? <br /><br />I found this article funny and true. Maybe it is an inconvenient truth. But to waste so much energy on bringing down one person seems a little odd to me.
  56. Saf
    December 17, 04:18
    Yet another excellent article by HJ - keep up the good work!<br /><br />Someone said it right about all these bashers and haters: "Its not them talking, its the guilt!". So instead of criticizing this amazing article or its intended purpose, people should take it at face value and work on fixing that flag of Islam :)
  57. Twelve
    December 25, 15:50
    Salam, <br /><br />I'm sure the author of this article intended no harm and her efforts are better than nothing I suppose! If she has the guts to say how it really is then I applaud her for that!<br /><br />However how about articles on what we can wear not what we can't wear?? Hijab is a sensitive issue so perhaps a more sensitive approach would be received better?
    • ...
      December 28, 03:58
      "how about articles on what we can wear?"<br /><br />
  58. a hiijabi
    January 22, 05:36
    yeah i agree that hijab is meant for modesty, but can't we express ourselves through them too?? all these styles are a way for girls to express themselves. some people don't want to express just through words. none of these truly break the hijabi guidelines. seems to me like your being judgmental of others. sorry we don't like to wear plain boring hijabs. do you want us to be zombies and have the same style as you?? we're all individuals with very different personalities; what we wear is a form of expression so let us be!

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